Classic Pie Crust

Much to the chagrin of everyone around her, Scarlett has given up carbs for Lent. 

I'm sure her hope was that abstinence wouldn't be so challenging after the first few days and she'd emerge Easter morning with a beatific smile, smaller waistline and new found appreciation for salads and veggies.

Reality has been a touch more challenging. 

She confessed to me yesterday that she almost almost stole a piece of bread out of 2-year-old-baby-Scarlett's hands, and her husband has has implored her twice in earnest to re-negotiate terms. 

"What about just giving up carbs three days a week?  Surely that's sacrifice enough, right?"  he asked her sheepishly last night as he slinked out of view, clutching a bag of milanos.

After this morning's conversation that disintegrated once again into Scarlett waxing lyrical about dinner rolls, I decided she needs to know there's a light at the end of the (Lenten) tunnel. 

Starting today, my house becomes ground zero for crafting the perfect Easter Brunch Menu to break my sister's fast.  

Please join me as I support Scarlett's tortured Journey and we "Countdown to Carbs!"

Recipe: Classic Pie Crust

Active Prep Time: 35 minutes | Cook time: depends on pie contents (~20-30 minutes)  | Yield: one deep dish pie crust

The key to flaky crust is making sure there are still little chunks of butter in the dough.  As the crust heats in the oven, the little chunks of butter heat up and steam escapes, making a bunch of tiny pockets of buttery flakiness. Over-handling the dough will melt the butter before it gets to the oven and will keep the flakiness at bay. 

**My cheat is to freeze the stick of butter and then grate it using a cheese grater so there’s very little work to do combining the dough.  You’ll also see in the following pics that I use a pastry cutter so I don’t end up touching the dough until the very end.** Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups Flour, plus extra for rolling
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Pepper (not a must-have but I love it regardless of whether the pie is sweet or savory)
  • ¼ cup cold water
How Do:

Combine the flour, grated butter, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix.  Use a pastry cutter of you have one to avoid touching & warming the dough but you can mix with your hands.  Once dry ingredients are combined, add the water a little bit at a time.  You might not need the full ¼ cup.  You’ll know when you’re finished then the dough is the consistency pictured below. 

Roll the dough into a ball (I scoop everything into a sheet of plastic wrap, shape it into a rough ball and then throw it in the fridge to re-cool for a few minutes).

Remove from the fridge after ~15 minutes depending on how much you warmed it with your hands.  Sprinkle your countertop & rolling pin generously with flour to prevent sticking and roll the dough into a circle.  I use slow rolls toward me and flip the dough and rotate it a little each time to maintain an even circle.

Once the dough is a little larger than your pie pan, Roll it onto your rolling pin, and then unroll it over your greased pie pan like the picture below and run a knife around the outside edge of the pan to remove excess crust. 

You can use back of a fork to stamp the edges of the crust or just leave flat like I do.  Pretty or not, your crust is ready for filling!  

Your filling will determine how long to cook.  I generally cook at about 350 degrees and start checking in about 30 minutes in to baking to see when the crust is crispy and the filling is baked through.

Visit back tomorrow for my super easy quiche recipe that can be used with your favorite flavors.  Tomorrow’s will be loaded with fresh herbs and goat cheese.

Thanks for visiting